By Daniel Hunter

Online gaming firm 888 has launched a takeover bid for its rival, Bwin.

It raises the prospect of a bidding war for Bwin after GVC Holdings, a listed online betting firm, also made a bid.

888 is trying to expand its sports betting business and says there is "industrial logic" in a takeover for Bwin.

As well as having a strong standing in sports betting, Bwin has also sponsored a number of high-profile football clubs in recent years. They have been the main sponsor for Real Madrid, AC Milan, Bayern Munich and Olympique de Marseille and it is currently Manchester United's casino partner.

In March, Bwin reported a 6% fall in earnings €101.2m (£73.5m).